The Military History Society of New South Wales Incorporated presents

Hurricanes to Russia

By Denis Smith


Denis Smith’s talk could also be sub-titled ‘the story of a RAAF fighter pilot with RAF 151 Wing’. It tells the largely unknown story of HMS Argus, the aircraft carrier which transported 24 RAF Hurricane fighter planes to Russia in 1941.

Around 3,000 Hurricanes followed in subsequent convoys, promised by Churchill to Stalin.

One of the pilots was an Australian RAAF fighter pilot, Denis’s close friend ‘Nat’ Gould. His other nickname was ‘Natski’ after his time flying in Russia.

Conditions in the Russian winter were very harsh but when the Japanese came into the war, Nat returned to Australia and flew Kittyhawks at Milne Bay, as well as Spitfires, Seafires, Mustangs, SeaFuries, Fireflies, Vampires and Hellcats to name a few.

Denis will be presenting with the assistance of a documentary special film made for prime time Russian TV in 2016 called “Arctic Brotherhood” for the 75th Anniversary of the first Arctic Convoy to Russia. The documentary is dubbed into English.

He will also have a copy of Nat’s Flight Log when he was taking off from HMS Argus.


Biography – Denis Smith

Denis was born in Sydney. He is now a retired electrical engineer having run his own company with over 40 employees. His uncle flew Sunderlands with 10 Squadron RAAF in England during World War 2, which aroused his interest in military history. His close friend ‘Nat’ Gould talked him into joining the Spitfire Association, and he also joined the Aviation Historical Society.

He is past president of the Lane Cove Historical Society (received an OAM), Vice-President of the Fellowship of First Fleeters, Vice-President of the Matthew Flinders Society of Australia, and a member of the American Civil War Round Table of Australia.

Denis Smith, Nat Gould

Nat Gould and Denis Smith laying a wreath on the Cenotaph at Martin Place, Sydney, for the Battle of Britain anniversary on behalf of the Spitfire Association.


Saturday 3 August 2019, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Goulburn Room, Level 4, City of Sydney RSL, 561-567 George Street, Sydney

For further information call 0419 698 783 or email

Although entry is free, a gold coin donation is appreciated.


Flyer – Hurricanes to Russia